Tunisia: Son-in-law of deposed President Ben Ali sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia

A court in capital Tunis handed a 15-year prison sentence to Sakhr El Matri, the son-in-law of late president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on corruption charges.

El Matri according to media reports is mired in a corruption and administrative orders overrunning case involving a company that belonged to him in 2008.

The ruling is the second against the businessman who was first convicted in absentia of corruption by a Tunisian court in July 2011. The court sentenced him to 16 years in prison.

El Matri fled Tunisia to Qatar during the 2011 uprising that deposed Ben Ali who ruled the North African country for decades.

Tunisia in 2012 demanded Matri’s extradition from Seychelles where he was arrested after trying to enter the country with an expired diplomatic passport. Seychelles however in 2013 granted him political asylum permit.

The exiled Tunisian man, who married Ben Ali’s daughter Nesrine in 2004, reportedly started negotiating his return to Tunisia in 2017. He reportedly attended, via skype, several hearing sessions organized by Instance Vérité et Dignité – a reconciliation body.

His father in-law who had lived in Saudi Arabia since 2011, following his ouster, died in September last year.

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